The nomination period for the 2022 fall election in B.C. is open.
On the Sunshine Coast, voting on Oct. 15 will decide the next councils for the District of Sechelt, Town of Gibsons, Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) board and the school board of trustees. The two municipalities and regional district will all be seeing new faces come the fall.
The nomination packages are available as of Aug. 30 until Sept. 9. Here’s which elected officials have announced they are — or are not — running:
On July 14, Halfmoon Bay director Lori Pratt announced she will not be seeking re-election, citing a struggle to find suitable housing on the Coast.
Andreas Tize of Roberts Creek previously announced he will not run for his seat again as he wishes to spend more time with his daughter and taking care of his business. Now vying for that seat is political newcomer Kelly Backs, who told Coast Reporter he's putting his name forward for Area D (Roberts Creek).
Elphinstone director Donna McMahon disclosed her decision to seek re-election at the SCRD's July 28 meeting. At the same meeting, West Howe Sound director Mark Hiltz shared he has decided not to put his name forward for a second term.
Pender Harbour/Egmont director Leonard Lee is running for election again, he announced in the Harbour Spiel. That brings the rural directors to three not running and two incumbents in the race.
After Hiltz announced he is stepping down, Kate Stamford told Coast Reporter she is stepping up for the Area F director's seat. Stamford, a Gambier Island resident, is the current chair of the Islands Trust Conservancy – and she will also be running for a seat on the Islands Trust council this fall.
According to the SCRD website, as of Sept. 2, Lee and McMahon had filed nomination papers.
At least three council members representing the District of Sechelt have announced they will seek re-election so far, and one will not. Mayor Darnelda Siegers shared her intentions for a second term back in March, and councillor Alton Toth declared his own decision to run again at a June 23 council meeting. At a July 20 council meeting, Brenda Rowe put her name forward in the race.
Just before council's usual break in August, councillor Tom Lamb shared at the Aug. 3 council meeting that his name likely will not appear on any campaign signs for this election. Lamb has served two terms on Sechelt council: the first in 2011 to 2014, then he was re-elected in 2018. He said he hopes to see more young people run to represent their community.
Matt McLean, who is currently serving his first term on council, decided against running for election. He has other plans: to move to Vancouver Island, where he will work on his Masters in Community Development at UVic, with the intention of building a career in not-for-profit management.
As of Sept. 2, Siegers and Toth had filed their nomination papers, according to the District of Sechelt website. Also listed as having filed their nomination is Coast political newcomer Anna Jade Chen.
The chair at the head of the table will be up for grabs in Gibsons this fall, as Mayor Bill Beamish is not putting his name forward for consideration. At a syíyaya Days event last month, he disclosed his plans to move to Haida Gwaii, after serving as mayor since 2018 and many years in local government administration for both Gibsons and Sechelt.
Another familiar face on council, Aleria Ladwig, will also not be returning to council this fall, choosing instead to be present for her pre-teen.
On Aug. 6, Silas White made a "loud and proud" announcement that he is putting himself forward for the mayor's race again. White was the mayor-elect for several days in 2018 before he withdrew, and Beamish went from running as a councillor to the elected leader.
The first person to put their name forward in the running for councillor this fall, Stafford Lumley, made his decision known on Aug. 24. He will be seeking his third term on Gibsons council.
Also putting their names forward for Gibsons council as of Sept. 2: Desmond Delaney is the only person listed as having filed nomination papers on the Town of Gibsons website. Blake MacLeod, who had an unsuccessful run for mayor in the last election, contacted Coast Reporter to say he is standing for a councillor's seat on Oct. 15.
For the Gambier Local Trust Area (which includes Keats, North and South Thormanby and other nearby islands with the exception of Bowen), there are two trustee seats. Incumbent Kate Stamford has said she intends to run both for SCRD board and for the Islands Trust Council. Stamford is currently in her third term on the Islands Trust Council and is currently the Islands Trust Conservancy chair.
The local trust area's other incumbent, Dan Rogers, has said he is not planning to run for another term, though he'll make his final decision in late August.
The Sunshine Coast School District No. 46 (SD46) held its last meeting of the school year in June, but as early as May board chair Amanda Amaral announced she will be seeking re-election in a blog post on the school district's website. In her post, Amaral writes about "What makes an exceptional trustee?" and shares that she is running for her second term as trustee.
All three incumbent trustees for Area 3 (lower Sunshine Coast) have said they're running again. Sue Girard was one of six new trustees to join the board following the 2018 election, when she earned the most votes. The only incumbent re-elected in 2018, Pammila Ruth, said she's running for her third term. Stacia Leech, also a current Area 3 trustee, is too running for re-election.
Area 1 (upper Sunshine Coast) trustee Samantha Haines, who was acclaimed in that position in 2018, has said she's running again.
An unofficial slate, made up of one incumbent and two first-term hopefuls, is stepping forward and sharing campaign promises, platform and costs. Maria Hampvent was acclaimed as a trustee for the Central Coast (Area 2) in 2018 and in 2020, was voted in as the board’s vice chair. Briar Teal Hartwell of Roberts Creek and Tracy Johannson Uchida are Hampvent's slate mates.
What is the pre-campaign period?
The pre-campaign period will run until Sept. 16, 2022, and the campaign period begins 28 days before the general election day. Election advertising rules come into effect at the start of the pre-campaign period and last until the election on October 15.
During the pre-campaign period, election advertising is defined as "any public communication that promotes or opposes, directly or indirectly, the election of a candidate or an elector organization endorsing a candidate." This includes sponsored social media posts and "communications that take a position on an issue associated with a candidate or elector organization," stated Elections BC.
Such advertising must include the name and contact information of elector organizations, prospective candidates and third parties sponsoring the ads. Third-party election advertisers must also register with Elections BC.
With files from Graeme Wood / Glacier Media